TWO men with a passion for commercial farming as an essential part of sustainable rural land use across Cumbria, recently featured in a DEFRA- funded film.

Danny Teasdale, CEO of Ullswater CIC was approached by the government agency following the recent visit of a government minister to the Ullswater catchment.

Danny then contacted Adam Day, Managing Director of the Farmer Network, a not-for-profit organisation supporting farmers and their businesses, to take part in the film. A number of Cumbrian farmers and their families were also directly involved.

Danny said “The message from DEFRA was clear. They wanted realistic feedback from Cumbria about the challenges and opportunities of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM), currently being developed. Adam and I, along with other farmers were able to talk openly about where we are right now with ELM”.

Adam continued “I appreciated the chance to chat feely with Danny during the filming. I expressed my growing sense of frustration at the continued polarisation between farming and conservation. The people of Cumbria and 20 million visitors annually will welcome more trees and improved bio- diversity. But they also want to see cattle in the fields and sheep on the hills, just as before, and not just a token”.

Against a backdrop of the Matterdale valley where much conservation work is already taking place on working farms, both men discussed whilst being filmed, the urgent need to find the sweet spot between viable, sustainable farming and improving Cumbria’s natural environment.